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|Focus||The homing and welfare of greyhounds|
The Greyhound Trust is a national charity, founded in 1975 with the vision of a day when all racing greyhounds can retire to a loving home and be treated with compassion and kindness. Originally founded as the NGRC Retired Greyhound Trust, and known for many years as the 'RGT' the charity has found homes for over 85,000 greyhounds, and currently homes around 4000 a year.
The Greyhound Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees, chaired by Professor Steven Dean, and is registered with the Charity Commission in England and the OSCR in Scotland (Registered Charity 269668 & SC044047). The Trust operates a network of over 50 branches across Britain, currently run by over 1,000 volunteers. Many branches have kennels with retired greyhounds that the public can meet and that are available for homing. The branch network is supported by a small team who operate from the Trust's Head Office in Surrey.
In 1975 a small group of greyhound owners and trainers from the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) formed the Retired Greyhound Trust, a charity dedicated to finding homes for racing greyhounds after they retire.
The early years of the charity saw hundreds of greyhounds homed, and the establishment of local homing centres around the UK where dedicated volunteers would oversee the transition of racing greyhounds into family pets. Several of the original charity's founders continue to home greyhounds to this day.
Over time the charity became known within greyhound circles as the 'RGT' as it became an independent organisation. It established a national office in Surrey and increased it's branch network, particularly in areas popular for greyhound racing, such as the Midlands and South East.
The charity underwent a refresh of its national branding in 2017, becoming known as the 'Greyhound Trust'. The Head Office is in Worcester Park in Surrey and the Chief Executive is Lisa Morris-Tomkins. The Board of Trustees, who oversee governance of the charity, is chaired by Professor Steven Dean.
Since its formation, the Greyhound Trust has homed more than 85,000 greyhounds, and continues to home around 4000 greyhounds a year.
The Greyhound Trust is an independent charity, funded entirely by donation. It receives the majority of its funding from the general public, through national and local level fundraising initiatives. In 2016 34% of the Trust's fundraising came from a donation from the British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF), which is derived from a voluntary levy paid by a selection of bookmakers. This donation has remained unchanged since 2011. Around 20% of the Trust's funding comes from gifts left to the Trust in wills. The Greyhound Trust publishes all of its financial income and expenditure on its website at www.greyhoundtrust.org.uk
History of the Greyhound
The Greyhound is one of the oldest breeds in existence, and has been traced back thousands of years to early cave drawings. It is also the only dog mentioned in the Bible.
The greyhound was the dog of the pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, the dog of the kings of Ancient Greece and of the landed gentry and nobles in England. According to H Edward Clarke, greyhounds can be traced back 4000 years. Originating in Southern Arabia, the greyhound was introduced to Britain via the Romans.
Greyhound racing itself became popular in the 1920's and 30's with the first greyhound racing track to open at Belle Vue in 1926. Since then greyhounds have become synonymous with dog racing and its popularity increased as a gambling pursuit. Even though the greyhound racing industry has seen a decline in recent years, there are still thousands of greyhounds retired from racing each year that require homing.
Greyhounds as Pets
A greyhound is the original low-maintenance companion animal. Despite their well-deserved reputation as formidable athletes, they do not require large amounts of exercise: the vast majority are perfectly content with two short walks a day and they just love to relax on a comfortable bed.
They are short haired dogs and require little grooming. Many people who suffer from an allergic reaction to dogs in general may find that greyhounds do not have this effect.
Greyhounds are placid animals and therefore are particularly good with children; they also make excellent pets for the elderly because they do not require large amounts of exercise.
Contrary to popular belief, some greyhounds can live with cats and other small animals.
Older dogs, whilst perhaps not as appealing as younger dogs, still make excellent pets, and are even more grateful for your love and attention.